Texas Oil and Gas Commissioner Proposes to Simplify State Regulation Rules

texas oil and gas commissioner proposes to simplify state regulation rules

A Texas oil and gas commissioner on Tuesday announced a number of rule changes that will purportedly help ease state bureaucracy navigation for energy companies, helping them to save money during the current industry downturn.

Texas Railroad Commissioner Christi Craddick, in her proposal that she calls “common sense practices,” aims to reduce paperwork, eliminate unnecessary rules, and improve efficiency for state energy regulators. Further, the commission has re-evaluated rules and overhauled information technology programs that could potentially save oil and gas operators tens of millions of dollars.

She will introduce the specifics of her proposal to the commission staff at their open meeting in Austin on Tuesday.

Craddick calls the full report of changes the Texas Oilfield Relief Initiative, which includes reducing gas well status filings, modifying gas well deliverability reporting, changing certain pressure calculations, amending production definitions, prioritizing rig inspections in sensitive areas, creating area-wide surface casing requirements in counties with constant water depth, and simplifying permit reissuance applications.

The initiative has support from several industry association leaders.

“With the current industry downturn, at stake is the survival of the state's small producers and the oil industry's many marginal wells, which make up 85 percent of total U.S. oil wells and 18 percent of the nation's total oil output,” said Judy Stark, Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association Executive Vice President. “During this critical time, Commissioner Craddick's initiative will provide relief to Texas' independent producers, the backbone of both our state and nation’s oil industry. For that, PPROA's members are truly grateful.”

Railroad Commission of Texas
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